Wednesday, March 31, 2010

Here Comes The Rain Again

Since we're forecast to have rain for most of the next week - a statement, by the way, that is true in Vancouver for pretty much every week from October 15th through April 30th, I thought it might be fun to post a slightly lighter side of what can be a pretty dark and gloomy time of year.

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The G stands for Gamaliel

I stumbled upon this monument commemorating Warren G. Harding's 1923 visit to Canada while bicycling yesterday through Stanley Park near the Malkin Bowl. While I've been to Malkin Bowl for concerts on several occasions, I never noticed these statues before. The female figures represent The United States and Canada, their shields incorporating elements of their respective nation's flag. Canada's figure's shield shows not the modern red and white maple leaf (which wasn't introduced until December of 1964) but the British Red Ensign.

Carved into the granite on either side of the female figures are the following words:

"What an object lesson of peace is shown today by our two countries to all the world. No grim-faced fortifications mark our frontiers, no huge battleships patrol our dividing waters, no stealthy spies lurk in our tranquil border hamlets. Only a scrap of paper, recording hardly more than a simple understanding, safe-guards lives and properties on the Great Lakes, and only humble mile posts mark the inviolable boundary line for thousands of miles through farm and forest.

Our protection is in our fraternity, our armour is our faith, the tie that binds more firmly year by year is ever-increasing acquaintance and comradeship through interchange of citizens and the compact is not of perishable parchment but of fair and honorable dealing, which, God grant, shall continue for all time."

Erected by Kiwanis International in memory of a great occasion in the life of two sister nations. Here on July 26, 1923, Warren Gamaliel Harding, twenty-ninth President of the United States of America, and first President to visit Canada, Charter Member of the Kiwanis Club of Marion, Ohio, spoke words that are worthy of record in lasting granite dedicated September 16, 1925.

I'm really enjoying the way this project - posting a photo every day - has made me stop and look around the city I live in and really see things I've never paid much attention to!

Monday, March 29, 2010

Cherry Blossom

I just learned about the Vancouver Cherry Blossom Festival on twitter. Funny how you can live in a city for fifteen plus years and still be learning new things about it every day! The Bike for Blossoms is a great idea - I hope I can take part. As cherry trees are in bloom all over the city, today seemed like a good time to post this photo I took on my street as I was walking home from the beach a few evenings ago.

Sunday, March 28, 2010


More Vancouver Biennale art. This statue is part of an exhibit called "Meeting" by Wang Shugang, and it sits on the Coal Harbour side of the downtown peninsula, adjacent to the seawall. I took this photo a few days ago during a light rain when I was out on my bicycle. I had to stop and get a closer look. I like the way the raindrops appear to be tears streaming down his face. It's made more poignant when you see the statue in full, as he's positioned in a pose of supplication. The building in the background is the Westin Bayshore Inn, where Howard Hughes famously holed up for almost 6 months in the penthouse suite in 1972. I'm going to try to get around and photograph all the Biennale works in the next few weeks.

Saturday, March 27, 2010

A-maze-ing Laughter

At the moment there are temporary public art exhibits all over the city as part of the Vancouver Biennale. This is part of an installation called A-maze-ing Laughter by Chinese contemporary artist Yue Minjun. It's a very popular exhibit - there are always people walking amongst the statues, kids climbing on them, and people imitating the poses for pictures. To see the whole installation and get a sense of scale, click here.

Friday, March 26, 2010

We've had a mild winter

Palm trees in Vancouver! They separate a section of Beach Avenue from the actual beach at English Bay, near the intersection with Davie Street. We have had a mild winter, so much warmer than usual that snow had to be flown in by helicopter to one of the Olympic venues in February, but these trees must be a hardy variety to thrive through the average Pacific Northwest winter. We had a sunny evening a couple of days ago so I walked down to the water and took this photo.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Had to run over to West Vancouver for business yesterday, and on the way home I stopped by the seawalk for a stroll, where I took this picture. There's a path for four-legged friends, separated from the regular sea wall by a chain link fence. So instead of getting leashes tangled up with people walking, the dogs can run off-leash, sniff each other, pee on shrubbery; dog stuff. There's even a dog-height water fountain along the way to the off-leash park at Ambleside.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Vancouver Daily Photo

English Bay at sunset - a particularly dramatic one - taken from my apartment balcony, and uploaded directly from the camera, no photoshop or colour adjustments. Trees of Stanley Park are in the foreground. The container ships are part of the traffic from Canada's largest port, and North America's 4th busiest (by tonnage).